US Army Helps Polish Community

US 4th Infantry Division Adopts a Polish School

As artillerists from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, build interoperability with other NATO forces ahead of multinational exercises this spring in Germany and Romania, they also are building solidarity with the Polish community near a training area here.

Since arriving in Poland in January as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, have partnered with the Mielenku Drawskim Primary School near Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area. It’s a relationship that carries forward the 4th Infantry Division’s Adopt-a-School program back at their home station of Fort Carson, Colorado.

Outreach Part of Atlanic Resolve Success

Between participating in live-fire artillery exercises, the U.S. soldiers have taught English, shared in games of handball and hosted students at DPTA for a demonstration of their M109A6 Paladin howitzers. While off-duty, the soldiers helped have four new bookcases constructed to expand the school’s growing library.

“The community outreach is critical to the success of our mission here in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve,” said Army Lt. Col. Douglas P. Chimenti, the battalion’s commander.

“Volunteering in the community shows we are not only here to defend the great nation of Poland, but participate in local community events. This allows the community to see our soldiers in a positive light and also gives the soldiers a better appreciation for their host country,” he said.

Army Spc. Paige Rayfield has volunteered on more than one occasion to mentor Polish students.

“The school visits make the U.S. Army more relatable and help us see our mission more clearly,” Rayfield said.

The partnership with Mielenku Drawskim Primary School continues the traditions of the Fort Carson Adopt-a-School program in which brigades and battalions sponsor elementary and middle schools. Units visit the schools at least once a quarter to speak to students and participate in school events.

“I strongly support the Army value of selfless service and teaching soldiers that a way to achieve this value is through volunteering,” Chimenti said.

The battalion will expand the program upon redeployment to Fort Carson, he said, maintaining correspondence with the schools it partners with during Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Source: US Department of Defense

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